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keeneland
Sep. 6, 2009, 02:24 AM
I'm interested in learning more about what to expect when working the sales. It is my first time and I would love any help/tips so i am not completely overwhelmed when I get there! Thanks!!!

EventerAJ
Sep. 6, 2009, 12:03 PM
It will vary depending on who you work for, and what you do. I'm assuming you will be showing? Since it's your first time, some places will start you out as a groom the first day, till you get the swing of things. Others will throw you right into the fire! Wear comfortable shoes, and add insoles (no matter how comfy they are, you will still be sore or blistered).

The most important thing is BE SAFE. Always ask for help if you are unsure about anything, or especially if a horse is too much for you. It is a wild, crazy, hectic environment and you must always be aware of people and horses around you. Watch what the seasoned employees do, and copy them.

Be prepared to work very hard. Most consignors start the day at 5am, cleaning stalls, walking horses, and grooming. Then around 7am change into your show clothes and the day really begins. If you've never handled young horses before, start on the fillies. Colts tend to be stronger and very mouthy. Even if you HAVE worked with young horses, these are likely to be very different from anything on the farm. Start easy and work your way in. Do not be frustrated if someone else takes a horse from you, because they can show it better. Watch how they do it, and learn from them. Be polite and always busy-- no standing around. If you aren't with a horse, grab a broom and sweep something, or rake the aisle. Pitch in and help wherever you can, it will be noticed and appreciated. Try to get along with everyone, it's not always easy but you will meet some really neat people.

Some people love working the sales-- it is pretty good money, it's interesting, you make a lot of new friends and people in the business. But the days are long, the horses can be rank (esp near the latter days, the cheaper ones sometimes aren't prepped as well), and some consignors don't treat people well. Do a search, there is other info on the forum. ;)

Have fun and good luck!